Put down the all-dressed chips, poutine, nanaimo bars and timbits – they might be delicious, but healthy study snacks are much better for your brain.
The right snacks can boost your ability to focus, make you more productive and help keep your mind sharp. Plus they won’t lead to a sugar crash followed by an emergency nap (unlike way too much ice cream).
So for all the undergraduates, postgraduates and high school students who need something to nibble on while they study – this is our roundup of the ten best healthy and affordable study snacks:
An easy-to-share infographic is located at the bottom of this post.
Almonds are a satisfying but healthy snack.
A handful can give you a quick energy boost while you study, but stick to buying the unsalted kind and adding any salt yourself at home (otherwise you’ll be eating more salt than is healthy).
And if you’re not a fan of almonds, other good options are peanuts, cashews, walnuts and pistachios.
2. Dark chocolate
This is a snack for all the chocoholics out there…
Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and natural stimulants. It improves blood flow to your brain, helping you focus better. And it increases your body’s production of mood-boosting endorphins, making you happier.
Just remember, this is a snack to eat in moderation.
3. Air-popped popcorn
Popcorn isn’t just for movie theatres!
It’s easy to make popcorn yourself on the stove top, or you can use a popcorn maker if you have one. Then drizzle a little olive oil over it and sprinkle on some salt. Or go for cinnamon and sugar, if you’re craving something sweet.
Making popcorn like this is much healthier than using microwave popcorn and it’s tastier too.
4. Fruit salad
It’s time to raid the fruit bowl.
Apples, oranges, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, kiwis, the pineapple chunks from the back of the cupboard and that slightly bruised banana you don’t know what to do with. They’ll give your brain a boost of energy and fill your body with vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Plus, you can save yourself time with this snack: make a big batch and you’ll have enough for breakfast the next morning, too.
5. Greek yogurt
This is great if you need a more substantial and filling snack (hello, all-nighter).
It’s higher in protein than regular yogurt (it contains twice as much per serving!), which will help fill you up and curb your hunger. And it’s also full of bone-building calcium and gut-friendly probiotics.
To mix up the flavour, try adding a drizzle of honey or some of your leftover fruit salad.
6. Frozen grapes
This snack needs overnight prep, so you’ll need to plan ahead.
Buy a bunch of grapes, pop them into a ziploc bag and put them in the freezer – they’ll be ready for you to snack on while you’re studying the next day.
Stick to refreshing and delicious frozen grapes while you study, and save the ice cream and popsicles for post-exam celebrations (when you don’t need to use your brain any more).
7. Veggies (and hummus)
You can snack on just veggies… but they’re better with hummus.
Hummus is high in protein, calcium and brain-boosting Omega 3 fatty acids. Which makes it the perfect partner for vitamin and fiber filled veggie sticks!
Eat your hummus with carrots, cucumber, red pepper, celery, sugar snap peas or your fingers.
8. Homemade trail mix
Pumpkin seeds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pecans, almonds,dried cranberries, raisins… or any other mix of dried fruit, nuts and seeds which takes your fancy!
You can keep your trail mix in an airtight container (like a ziploc bag or a mason jar) for up to a month, so make yourself a big batch to have on hand.
It’s definitely better to make your own trail mix – the shop-bought kind is usually loaded with salt and hydrogenated oils, plus the dried fruit is coated with added sugar. And it’s overpriced, too.
9. Apples with peanut butter
This is a very very good combination of two great snacks: apples and peanut butter.
Cut your apple into slices and spread a little peanut butter onto each one. If you’re feeling fancy (or you need something to put on your Instagram) you can create adorable mini sandwiches.
Here’s something to try in your next study break : https://www.thekitchn.com/snack-recipe-apple-sandwiches-recipes-from-the-kitchn-183079
10. Crunchy roasted chickpeas
If you’re looking for a crunchy salty alternative to chips, this is it.
Chickpeas are full of protein and fiber (unlike potato chips) and surprisingly tasty when you roast them in the oven with salt and chili powder for 45-60 minutes.
You can also try making them with garlic and parmesan or honey and cinnamon.
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